Chicken piccata is a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Thin chicken breast cutlets, pan sauteed until golden brown, are topped with savory sauce of butter, white wine, lemon, and capers.
If you want a really quick meal, nothing cooks up quicker than a “paillard“. OK, that’s just another one of those fancy French terms which means “flattened out cutlet” in English. Everyone in my family prefers thighs to breasts. Breasts just aren’t as flavorful as thighs. But some dishes really are better suited to a breasts, and Chicken Piccata is one of them.
Chicken Piccata is one of the girls’ favorite dishes, probably because they love capers, so I buy a really large jar from Costco. I’ve seen “paillards” (pie-yard) already flattened and ready to go in the grocery store, but you’ll pay a premium for that convenience. Anyway, they are easy enough to prepare at home.
Using your palm to hold the breast in place, place the knife parallel to the cutting board and slice breast in half.
You’ll end up with two pieces, most likely they will be uneven thicknesses.
Place cutlets under wax paper and pound them a little so that they are about the same thickness all over.
You’ll end up with nice, thin cutlets…they cook up speedy-quick!
Chicken Piccata can be cooked in about the same amount of time it takes to boil the water for the pasta to serve with it.
Easy Chicken Piccata
- 2 chicken breasts cut in half and pounded into "paillards".
- Juice of two lemons
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1/4 cup or more of capers plus some of the tangy juice
- fresh parsley chopped
- Dredge the breasts in flour and saute them in olive oil for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown. Chicken should be slightly firm to the touch.
- Remove from pan, cover with foil and keep warm in the oven while making the sauce.
- Wipe out the pan. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter add 2 teaspoons of flour and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the lemon juice, wine, capers and caper juice and cook for a just a couple of minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning. This is a tangy, tart sauce...more butter will smooth out the tartness.
- Turn off the heat. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons of butter. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan and swirl to coat with the sauce.
- Top with fresh parsley.
- I always serve this with some form of pasta tossed with olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh chopped parsley and maybe some fresh Parmesan cheese.